Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Week 2

So we have finally hit our stride.  Every day the schedule is basically the same:  wake up, eat, then study, then lunch, soccer, then study, then dinner, then study, then bed.  It’s pretty difficult to keep focused, but I am trying.  On Friday, it stormed.  We get rain every day, but it was ridiculous on Friday. We are in a cul de sac, and it was amazing.  The water in the street was level with the water on the sidewalk, and it was like a pond.  Some guys took some pictures of them in the water, and it looked like they were swimming.  We were all in our nice clothes, and some guy in a van came and bailed us out, it was awesome.  However, it knocked out our power and our water pressure, so we all had to go to the main building on Saturday to brush our teeth and wash our faces.  Thankfully, the water came back on the night of Saturday, so that was nice.  

Sunday was awesome, as we heard a devotional from the CCM director, and we had one from the CCM president, and watched a movie about John Tanner.  I wish we had more Sundays, as they are incredibly spiritual and awesome.  I gave a talk in my ward; it was about enduring to the end.  It was hard to write, as we are supposed to try and do it in Spanish, but I think it was ok.  Me and my companion are reading the book of Mormon in Spanish, and in my personal study, in English, I am in Ether, almost done!  I want to say that everyone should try to read it through, as it is simply an amazing book full of amazing love and stories of love and hope and Christ´s love.  

We now have finished with our first "investigator", and now have another two.  Our first investigator became our new afternoon teacher, and he is awesome.  He is hilarious, and is just out of his mission, and is 22. His name is Hermano Candia.  However, now our old teacher, who still teaches us in the morning, is one of our investigators named Daniel, who is catholic, but does not like the Catholic Church.  He asked us how much the Book of Mormon cost which we gave him to read, and me and my companion were surprised, as we had never thought anyone would ever ask that.  We told him it was a gift, and it was free.  We haven’t taught the other "investigator" yet, that will be tomorrow.  Also tomorrow, we might teach an actual investigator!  It is a lottery, but some people get actual investigators and that would be so cool.

Spanish is going well, and I will post some pictures next week, I forgot my camera at home and we can only take pictures on our p-day.  Have an awesome week!!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The First Week

We got our first email from Elder Berg in the MTC.  Here's his report:

Well, first day. We got our name tags, and it was pretty awesome. We then e-mailed home and then went off to find our houses, and I found my district and I like my roommates. My companion did not show up until 9:30 at night, so for about 3 hours I was companion-less. The first day was pretty awesome. 

The second day was hectic. Wake up at 6:30, study, eat breakfast, study. It is very, very difficult. However, they then gave us lunch, and meals are really our only respite besides gym time everyday. I love playing soccer here, the people are pretty good and it is a lot of fun. Our district basically studied the entire day, and it was a lot of work, but I felt good. We got a tour of the MTC, and it is basically a huge compound in the middle of Mexico City, surrounded by tall walls and barbed wire. To keep us in, or to keep others out, we don't know. We met with our Stake President today, and it was pretty awesome. 

Friday, we prepared to teach our first "investigator", which was really scary. We taught Esdras about the Book of Mormon, and challenged him to read it. We had a good lesson, and then we studied Spanish the rest of the day. 

For a quick outlook on how everyday goes, its this: wake up at 6:30, then study for a while, then breakfast. Then more study, and then a teacher comes and teaches our district about how to teach lessons and he also teaches us Spanish. Then, we have lunch, we teach our investigator, Esdras. Then it is about an hour of study and planning, then dinner, then language study, and then more language study, then planning, then sleep. The only rest we get is during meals, which is awesome. The food here is pretty good, kind of Americanized, but not too much. 

Saturday, it was a lot of the same, and we were taught about the Book of Mormon and how to teach about it. We had a lot of study time, but it was all leading up to teaching Esdras. Our lesson went a little better, but he asked some hard questions. He asked us why the Spirit would tell Nephi to kill Laban, when God only does good in the world, and when Nephi is talking about John, why he says that he is not worthy to buckle his shoe, when they didn't have shoes back then, only sandals. we did our best to explain, but it was pretty difficult, and we told him to pray. 

Sunday, it was a lot of personal study time and reading the scriptures. we had a great priesthood and sacrament, and we all need to write a five minute talk every week, because they choose speakers at random and call on six every week, and they only tell you in sacrament meeting. We had a great devotional, it was a talk by Elder Bednard, and I loved it. We had about an hour of study time between activities, which added up. I am now almost done with Alma. We then watched a movie about Wilford Woodruff and went to study and went to sleep. 

Yesterday, we taught our investigator again, and studied the Preach my Gospel, and studied some fundamentals of teaching, and how to invite them to do certain things, such as read the book of Mormon and praying. We did a lot of studying how to teach and be a missionary, not as much scripture study. 

Today, we all played kickball and we did laundry, and basically chilled. we have a devotional today, and I know it will be awesome. My Spanish is improving, I am trying to learn about 20 words a day, which is very difficult. 

Here in the MTC, I have come to rely on the Lord so much more than Ii thought I would ever need to. I have prayed so much for help and guidance, and have tried to humble myself (its hard, I am pretty awesome). However, I know that the Lord is helping me and wants me to succeed. I am trying to serve well, and be the best companion I can be. My companion is great, he is from Seattle. He does not really know a lot of Spanish, which makes teaching hard, because it takes him a long time to think of an idea and how to say it, which leaves a lot of empty air, which I don't like. So, i will try to talk for most of the lesson, and I will ramble, and I am trying to work on it. Its hard. I love you all, and I hope that you are all doing awesome. May the Lord watch over you. 

2 Days Before MTC

Ok, we are going to backtrack a little bit here.  In between Lloyd getting set apart as a missionary and him going into the MTC, we spent a few days in Utah up at Bear Lake at a family reunion.  It was interesting because since Lloyd had been set apart on Saturday morning, he had to obey mission rules.  I was his companion and the Stake President told him I would be his first trainer.  So no music.  No TV.  He had to get up at 6:30 every morning and study his scriptures.  Go to bed at 10:30.  No swimming.  All that.  And we were told to start calling him Elder Berg, which I didn't do really good at.

So Sunday night we had a family gathering.  I was in charge of the spiritual thought and I made it all about Elder Berg of course.

Prior to leaving for Utah, I had gone through my old mission box and found something interesting that one of the missionaries in my mission had given to me to use.  It was a cut out of the plan of salvation and it looked a little like this:

Mine had Charlie Brown as the character, but it was the same concept.  So I taught the plan of salvation to all the nieces and nephews and took Charlie Brown from the pre-earth life to Earth, through the final judgement, and into the Celestial kingdom.  Then I gave Lloyd his very own 25 year old brand new plan of salvation props.

Lloyd did get up at 6:30 every day.  On Wednesday, he actually got up about 3:15 and we left for the airport about 3:30.  Dropped him off at 4:00 am per instructions and he made his way to Mexico City as the newest missionary going to Panama.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

And He's Off!

I dropped him off and gave him a big hug and he went to catch his flight.  He looks like a missionary and he was excited.  He emailed us from the MTC in Mexico City and said he had arrived.  He hadn't even met his companion yet, but he was sure he was going to like him.

Elder Berg's address at the MTC is:

Elder Lloyd Berg
19-08-2014, 7th Branch, District E
Carretera Tenayuca-Chalmita #828
Colonia Zona Escolar, Gustavo A. Madero
07230 Mexico, Distrito Federal

I'm sure he would like to get some mail occasionally, so feel free.


Saturday, July 5, 2014

Day 1: Setting Apart

Lloyd was set apart as a missionary this morning!  We will be traveling with him to Utah for a short family reunion before he reports to the Mexico City Mission Training Center on July 9.  I made him write down his thoughts and feelings about being set apart so here it is:

Today I was set apart.  I called my mom before hand and said goodbye and also called my grandparents.  My Dad and Rebecca went to President Wheatley's office for me to get set apart.  President Wheatley talked to us about being a missionary.  He had me read 3 Nephi 5:13, which is a scripture that says that I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, and I have been called to bring others to salvation and eternal life.  When I read this scripture, I felt the spirt very storngly, and I knew that what I was reading was true.  I love that scripture because it shows what my calling is and what I am supposed to be doing when I am on my mission.  He then told us what I would be doing on my mission and laid sown some ground rules of conduct for me and my father, as my father is my trainer/companion until I get to the MTC.  Then he set me apart, with his hands on my head, as well as my father.  He said many wonderful things, but few of them do I remember.  I know that I felt at peace when he was setting me apart, which was a huge blessing to me because I have been very anxious and had been praying for comfort and peace for a long time.  He then finished and I hugged my dad and Rebecca and I felt very good.  It was a bit odd, because as of 15 minutes earlier I had been apprehensive and nervous and now I was ready and rearing to go and serve.  We then left the Stake Center and drove home.

My father and I talked about what my calling would entail and he shared many great stories and experiences from his mission.  I was felling the spirit all day and I felt very good and happy and at peace through the entire day.  My father then said how I was going to hold the title of Elder, for probably the only time in my life, which is the same title as the General Authorities.  I was awestruck, as the GA's are amazing people whose testimony is incredible and I share something with them in the church.   I felt very humbled and blessed to be able to serve a mission and to serve the people of Panama.


It was a special day.  We were told to begin calling Lloyd Elder Berg rather than Lloyd or even Gomer (his nickname), and that was a little hard.  I probably called him Gomer and Lloyd a dozen times, but hey, old habits die hard.

More to come!